The Senate, yesterday, said that it would reduce the number of political parties participating in elections in the country from the current 91 to five through legislation. The Senate stated this at a meeting with the leadership of INEC led by its chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, in the National Assembly, Abuja.
The apex legislative chamber expressed dissatisfaction over the number of political parties fielding candidates in the forthcoming governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states. In particular, the Chairman of the Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC Kano South) and former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu (PDP Enugu West), said that the number of political parties that would be contesting elections was unwieldy and a contravention of the amended Electoral Act.
He said: “Those parties that didn’t perform shouldn’t be on the ballot. The existing electoral act as amended has precluded participation of parties that didn’t perform in the last elections.
Why are you putting them in the ballot in the forthcoming elections?” Gaya hinted that his committee was determined to reduce the number of existing political parties to three or five. “We need to amend the act to reduce the political parties to a maximum of five.